Former NHS worker turned pilates instructor offers free classes to help ease lockdown stress

A South Shields pilates and yoga instructor is offering free virtual classes to help people ease the stress of the coronavirus outbreak.

A former NHS worker, who now runs her own pilates studio, is offering free online classes while the country is in lockdown due to Covid-19.

The 39-year-old, who also runs a studio in Whickham, Gateshead became an instructor two years ago, after using yoga and pilates to alleviate her own back pain and anxiety.

Pilates and yoga instructor Emma Louise McGlen in her studio.

Now, despite having to close due to lockdown measures last month, she is offering free virtual classes to help others relieve the stresses and pressures of the current challenges.

“In this situation we have all got to chip in and look out for each other,” said the mum-of-two, who lives in Gateshead.

“I put the classes on to try and keep everyone moving - we are all less active because we’re staying at home - and to help people deal with the stress of what is happening.”

Emma continued: “It’s so important to keep our spine and bodies moving in these difficult times, especially as people will be sitting for long periods of time working from home or for our key workers who are currently overloaded with work.“People are going to be experiencing an increase in lower back and neck pain and more tension and stress throughout the body.

Emma Louise McGlen with clients in her studio before the lockdown.

“I have a few nurses who have been doing the classes to help with back pain.”

She is now running six online classes a week, with people taking part from all over the world including fans in Hungary, America and New Zealand.

“The feedback I have been getting is great, people are finding it really helpful,” she said.

“A lot of men are doing it and people have been joining in with family members – I have mothers and daughters taking part which is nice.

“Just an hour of stretching out and getting your spine moving can make a massive difference.”

For more information and classes visit

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